Fred Walker, dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology at Rochester Institute of Technology, announced that professors Linda Underhill and Carol Whitlock have been appointed interim co-chairs of the School of Hospitality and Service Management prior to a national search expected to take place next year.
The appointment was effective March 8, with the two faculty taking on the role held until recently by Francis Domoy, former director of the school. Domoy assumes a new role as chair emeritus of the school and will pursue broader international opportunities for the organization.
Underhill, an associate professor of hospitality and service management, served a dual role as the department’s graduate chair and Health Systems Administration program chair. She has been teaching at RIT since 2003. Her research work is in the area of prevention of obesity and diabetes in children and innovation in the provision of health care services.
Additionally she has secured funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services, Women and Infant and Children for a training research grant. In addition, she worked with RIT alliance partner Rochester General Health Systems on a joint application to the National Institutes for Health for research on comparing adult non-pharmacologic diabetes interventions participation.
Whitlock, a professor of hospitality and service management, joined the RIT faculty in 1972 and, since 2005, has served as chair of the department’s undergraduate program. During her tenure, she created 19 new courses including a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses from food product development to quality assurance and global standards of food. In 1999, Whitlock developed and taught the first online course for the American College of Management and Technology in Croatia. Whitlock was also the recipient of RIT’s prestigious Eisenhart Outstanding Teaching award.
She has served as chair of department curriculum revisions, developed a service management undergraduate core of courses, and chaired or served on numerous university and college committees. Her research interests focus on integration of visual technologies into systems for merchandising foods, partnerships between academia and corporations, and integration of technologies to enhance learning.
She was a co-investigator on the Department of Labor grant for the establishment of an Advanced Food and Beverage Marketing Institute, and recently submitted a grant request to the United States Department of Agriculture for development of an international food marketing and distribution concentration.
“I am confident that our colleagues are poised to skillfully guide the School of Hospitality and Service Management through this transition and that their dedication and commitment to the success of our students, the department, CAST and RIT will continue to add to the school’s continued success and development,” says Walker, who also notes that a national search for permanent leadership of the school will be conducted next year.